Maintaining and Cleaning Porcelain Tile

Many homeowners choose porcelain tile for the home due to its combination of beauty and durability. Colors and patterns can match virtually any color scheme and decorating style. Maintaining and cleaning this material is straightforward. With minimal effort, it should be possible to keep flooring, countertops, or backsplashes beautiful for many years.

Chemicals

To keep tile pristine, apply a pH-balanced cleanser. Spray the product over the surfaces daily or as necessary to remove dirt and stains. Sometimes deeper stains will occur. To battle these issues, apply an acidic product to the surface. Greasy stains that often happen in the kitchen may demand an alkaline cleanser with special formulations to clean porcelain tile. Never allow any chemical to dry on the surface. Always rinse away a cleanser promptly after applying it. Hard water spots might lead to mineral build-up. Use a squeegee to remove excess water and prevent water spots.

Products to Avoid

Some products contain chemicals that would harm surfaces. Never use products that contain dyes, ammonia, chlorine bleach, or abrasive properties, because permanent staining and discoloration could occur. The abrasives may also scratch and etch the surface. Never use scouring pads or steel wool on tile. These products can cause significant scratching. Small particles of steel could also come loose from the steel wool. If this occurs, the particles could lead to rust in the grout. Oil based detergents and waxes are also not recommended for cleaning.

Removing Debris

Debris can cause damage to this surface. To prevent this from occurring, sweep or vacuum daily. If you vacuum, raise the beater bar on the vacuum to prevent damage. Never wash when dirt may be present on the surface because the wiping motion could cause scratching. Damp-mop at least once each week for an average home. Floor mats at entryways and runners on traffic areas will help minimize wear from foot traffic.

Grout Care

Grout requires proper sealing after installation. Sealing will repel stains and dirt from the grout lines. To maintain adequate sealing, reapply sealant twice each year. If grout becomes stained, mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water. Dip a soft toothbrush into this mixture and rub the stained areas gently. Rinse the grout well after scrubbing. A paste of equal parts baking soda and water can also be effective for cleaning grout. Rub the paste into stained areas, and allow it to sit for up to an hour before rinsing.

Scratches

Scratches may occur over time. Scratches may be deep or superficial. If you see white under the scratch, this type of damage is deep enough to warrant replacement of the tile. If the scratch is light, it may be possible to buff it out gently. Make a homemade concoction for removing scratches. Mix equal parts of brass polish with white toothpaste. Rub the mixture into the scratch with light, circular motions. Rinse away the mixture, and check the results. You may need to reapply or purchase a special repair kit for removing scratches.

With daily care and more in-depth maintenance, you can keep these surfaces beautiful for years.

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